Archive | August, 2011


#AUVSI: Sikorsky tiltrotor rings a Bell

Photo by Billypix A scale-model on display at the Sikorsky Innovations booth in the exhibit hall gives away the company’s new strategic move. The model shows that Sikorsky has partnered with Korea Aerospace Research Institute (KARI), which has been developing the Smart unmanned air vehicle (UAV) tiltrotor for about nine years. No information about the […]

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How long before we see China’s first stealth helicopter?

We’re taking bets in the Flightglobal office after seeing this article in the New York Times. I’ve got my money on 18-24 months. U.S. Aides Believe China Examined Stealth Copter By MARK MAZZETTI [Key excerpt:]American spy agencies have concluded that it is likely that Chinese engineers — at the invitation of Pakistani intelligence operatives — […]

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Scrutinising Lockheed’s claim that F-35 creates 127,000 US jobs

It’s every defence contractor’s favorite statistic: the Commerce Department’s formula that measures the amount of direct and indirect jobs created by an aerospace programme. For the F-35, the total US jobs number is … (drum roll, please) … 127,000! We confirmed that data point with Lockheed Martin on 11 August. But we could have just […]

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Hijacked by Code Pink

Part of the reason this blog exists is to show some of the stranger moments of our work at Flightglobal. This one definitely qualifies. Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin hijacked the AUVSI press conference at the National Press Club today to protest drone strikes. As soon as we recognised Benjamin sitting in front of us, […]

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PAK-FA’s ‘hangar queen’ flies after 4-month hiatus

Photo by Lysenko Sergey It would have been an interesting bet on 4 May (the day after the US Air Force grounded the Lockheed Martin F-22). Which fifth-generation fighter would fly again first — the F-22 or the Sukhoi T50-2?The T50-2 — the second PAK-FA prototype — first flew on 3 March, trailing first flight […]

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F-35 grounding explained by Australian Aviation

Andrew McLaughlin, deputy editor of Australian Aviation magazine, has posted a nearly complete explanation of the F-35 grounding caused by the failure of the Honeywell integrated power package. Still left unexplained is the root cause of the valve failure, which is no doubt the focus of the ongoing safety investigation. Key quotes are below:“The airplanes […]

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Russian AF chief: US fighters superior to Su-35S

Russian Air Force chief Gen Alexander Zemin Zelin briefed reporters today on the eve of the MAKS air show next week. Zelin covered a wide variety of topics, but we’ll try to summarise the most interesting.1. The Su-35S avionics and integrated defence system is inferior to “American fighters of the same type”, Zelin said. Depending […]

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BREAKING: F-35 flight tests may resume next week

Photo courtesy of US Air Force A valve malfunction caused the F-35 grounding order last week. The Honeywell integrated power package (IPP) pulls in outside air to start-up, then switches to engine bleed air after the propulsion system comes online. The valve that switches the flow from inducted to bleed air didn’t work, forcing highly […]

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The vast bipartisan conspiracy against F-35 & V-22

In US budget deficit wars, there seems to be only one consensus: it’s time to kill or cut back the F-35 and V-22. Our review of eight budget reduction proposals by a hodge-podge of centrist, leftist and libertarian think tanks reveals a startling insight: All of them agree that two military aircraft programmes should be […]

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A short history of the subsystem that grounded the F-35

Photo by Lockheed Martin It has been described by Lockheed Martin as “revolutionary” and a “lofty technology challenge” so important that it was included in Secretary Robert Gates’ tour of the F-35 assembly plant in September 2009 (see photo above). The power and thermal management subsystem is called the Honeywell integrated power package (IPP), and […]

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